How is it with renovations

There are opinions, comments of people visiting various monuments rising from the ruins that the owner “is renovating something there, but generally it’s not known what and how, that it’s not visible.” Due to the fact that similar statements sometimes appears at our address with “the Pearl” project, I decided to write a few words to these virtual pages.

Probably not many of enthusiasts of historic tourism profesionally knows the maintenance of architectural monuments, assessment of the condition of the supporting structure, the risks associated with damage to the health of patients, which several hundred years old buildings are. The first and most important step is making that the monument can stand safely for the next decades. When our leg breaks open, we don’t just stick an adhesive plaster on the wound saying “it will heal soon enough”. Similarly, we don’t put, for example, a new tile without checking and possibly (although usually necessary) interference in the condition of the structure.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a very grateful stage of renovation often, because it’s not visible to the bare eye due to its hidden under other elements of building like roof construction under the tiles. It happens that people are disappointed saying that we’ve done “just a little” with the Pearl. But almost no one is aware of the fact that greater part of all the wood holding the vault and the roof just levitated out of habit, that this building was a construction disaster that could fold like a house of cards at anytime.

The Pearl doesn’t have a simple roof truss nor simple its entire skeleton. The more complex skeleton our patient has, the longer and more expensive his treatment will be. And less delightful in the first stages. Let’s remember it when we visit the next convalescent who slowly leans on crutches. It may first require long-term therapy to strengthen the entire immune system  or even removal of plaster from a previously broken leg, not just final beauty treatments. What impresses in old buildings are not only decorative details, but also (and maybe especially) architectural craftsmanship. Anatomy of a building that catches the eye with its unusual shapes.

I don’t write this from the position of a person who has experience in construction, architecture nor conservation. I write it as a layman and a person who, delighted with the beauty of former building art, decided to make every effort to save at least one amazing monument from destruction and oblivion.

Dorota Korwin-Szymanowska

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *